SOCIEUX, the Social Protection European Union Expertise in Development Cooperation facility, in which the FIIAPP collaborates, participated in the organization of a training workshop on the financing of social protection in Jamaica, followed by a round table discussion on Social Protection Floors costs in the country, which was led by 25 members of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) and other institutions involved in the implementation of these types of policies.
Participantes del taller de Socieux impartido en Jamaica.Participants at the Socieux workshop held in Jamaica.
The workshop addressed different issues such as trends, patterns and determinants of social expenditure; the nexus of economic growth and social protection; the role of taxation; different financing methodologies and resourcing strategies; and theinvestment of social protection reserves.
The SOCIEUX experts Mr. Michel Rovers, Director of the Strategy, Policy and Research Department of the Dutch Employee Insurance Agency, and Mr. Derek Osborne, former Actuary at the National Insurance Board in the Bahamas, talked about their experiences in Western Europe and the Caribbean. The workshop also addressed the advantages and disadvantages of different financing models, such as the Pay-As-You-Go system, and examined each model and the specific issues to be considered when assessing options for alternative financing.
It was attended by more than 25 representatives of the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), the Ministry of Finance and Planning, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security (including the National Insurance Fund), the Ministry of Local Government and the Office of the Prime Minister, among others.
In addition, a round table discussion was organized to review costing procedures for Social Protection Floors for Jamaica. Defining this will enable the Jamaican government to establish the minimum provisions necessaryto guarantee a basic income and basic social services that will ensure the security of all its residents and citizens, giving priority to the most vulnerable population groups.
Various proposals emerged from this debate, such as including a framework that specifies the priorities of governmental policies, apart from social protection, and what they mean in terms of redistribution or the budget cuts needed.
It also emphasized that a well-defined costing model for programme expenditures is essential for planning and proper budget allocation.
Social protection in Jamaica
On 16th July, the PIOJ officially published its Social Protection Strategy, which was a major step towards providing an effective social protection system, as laid out in the country’s national development plan “Vision 2030 Jamaica”. The social protection strategy takes a rights-oriented approach that aims to cover social protection needs over the entire life cycle through different interventions. It especially addresses financing, not only through mobilization of resources and prioritization from the standpoint of the government budget but also through public-private associations and personal responsibility.
The guiding principles of the strategy define a system that reflects the goal of “Vision 2030 Jamaica” of achieving the empowerment of Jamaicans, promoting independence over dependence, offering fair and equitable treatment for all and attaining high standards in service provision.